Welcome!

Release Management Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, David H Deans, Liz McMillan, Jnan Dash

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Java IoT, Release Management

Microservices Expo: Blog Feed Post

Manifesto for Agile Offshore Software Development

For enterprise scale software development you will need to have a large size team

Why a manifesto for Agile Offshore Software Development???

Is it necessary?

I think it is necessary – to highlight the special challenge faced resulting from geographic distribution, from large and heterogeneous teams, from involvement of multiple organizations and from complexity involved in enterprise scale software development project.

For enterprise scale software development you will need to have a large size team. The number of team members would be large enough to make it impossible to organize them as a single team where all members interact with each other. It would be necessary to have sub-teams and in all likelihood the sub-teams will be distributed across the globe.

During the life of the project the team size and composition would definitely change.

It is also likely the some of the teams will belong to a separate organization. When multiple organizations are involved then not only would there be contractual obligations but the teams would also have to adhere to the governance needs of each organization.

In other words (1) team spread and size, (2) team volatility, (3) multi-organization involvement and (4) problem complexity is inevitable consequence of agile offshoring.

The Manifesto for Agile Offshore Software Development – Reminder of the Challenges Involved

(1) Long distance ubiquitous interaction among individuals required proper infra, tools and processes.

Sure, individual and interaction is more important compared to processes and tools but you need to have proper infra in place in form of right tools and equipment to make that interaction happen seamlessly. You also need to setup necessary protocol of how and when that interaction can happen and there should be a common understanding of that protocol.

(2) Getting new team members up to speed requires documentation.

The fact of live is that no large team is stationary. Team members leave. New team members join. New teams get formed. Software transitions to maintenance mode. Depending only on well commented code may not be sufficient to get new members on board smoothly. You will need sufficient documentation.

(3) When more than one organization is involved both should benefit from the association.

There is no doubt that collaboration is preferable to contract negotiation but in real life for any large scale commercial dealing a contract needs to be in place. Since agile requires trust, a contract which is win-win for both parties involved is a must. The contract should not leave either party dissatisfied – such dissatisfaction is sure recipe to kill collaboration.

(4) Ensure that implication of change is clearly understood by everybody.

Responding quickly to changing need is a good thing but the implication of making the change can frequently be missed and may lead to unforeseen and undesirable consequence. Therefore it is imperative that clear plan and processes are in place to take care of such change and such processes are clearly understood by all involved.

Agile Process – Assemble it or Tailor it?
Even with the revised manifesto you will still need to come up with an agile process.

Agile manifesto does not have a prescribed process. Neither does it tell you how to run your project nor does it tell you to how to engineer it.

Scrum does – it mostly tells you how to manage the project not how to engineer it.

XP does – it is more about engineering practice but it also has recommendations about management practices.

Similarly both TDD and Kanban have specific recommendations. TDD is more about engineering practices and Kanban is more about management practices.

So to design your agile process, the process which suits your unique need…

  1. You could adopt and tailor one of the agile methodologies like Scrum, XP, TDD etc. or
  2. You could assemble a unique process for your need by picking the right practices from different agile methodologies.

When you assemble your process you get more flexibility and you can adapt and evolve as you gain better understanding of your needs and your organization dynamics. However, it is more work.

On the other hand when you tailor a specific methodology it would be easier because when in doubt you can fall back on what theory say. However, you may not have hit upon the most optimum process.

I think it is more rewarding to assemble your own process because every organization is unique – and off course it is more fun.

Also, adapting your process as you go along is the agile way of doing thing.

Not all Offshoring Is  Made Equal
What process is right for you will also depend not only on the type of software development project, your organizational dynamics but also on how you are approaching the offshoring issue.

Suppose you are already into outsourcing using traditional development methodologies. The process that you would come up with when you want to adopt agile will be quite different from what you might adopt when you are outsourcing for the first time as you may be able to start from clean slate.

Similarly, you process would be different if are planning to build your own offshoring team vis-à-vis engaging a vendor.

Again, there will be a difference of process depending on the location. If the offshore team is at the other side of the globe you will need a process different from what you would need for a near-shore location. Language proficiency and cultural differences with the offshore team will also play a role.

The other side of the coin
Most people look at the offshoring challenge from the perspective of the customer. They forget that there is another angle to looking at the problem.

The vendor who is undertaking the work will have a different set of challenges to handle.

Normally, most vendors would be working with multiple customers. Each customer would be using an agile process unique to its needs. Therefore the vendor would have to simultaneously work with different variants of agile process and they would have no way of standardizing it. This will also be true for toolsets preferred by the customer.

For a vendor not all customers would have adopted agile. Hence, some projects would be using traditional waterfall development model where other would be using agile methodologies. Managing such diversity within the same environment cannot be wished away.

There is the additional complexity of adapting the agile methodologies to adhere to the compliance requirement dictated by the need to maintain the certifications like CMMi Level 5 and ISO.

In short this can be summed up as the need to manage diversity.

Agile and Offshoring Handbook

  1. Is Offshoring A Special Case Of Agile Scaling?
  2. Manifesto for Agile Offshore Software Development

More Stories By Udayan Banerjee

Udayan Banerjee is CTO at NIIT Technologies Ltd, an IT industry veteran with more than 30 years' experience. He blogs at http://setandbma.wordpress.com.
The blog focuses on emerging technologies like cloud computing, mobile computing, social media aka web 2.0 etc. It also contains stuff about agile methodology and trends in architecture. It is a world view seen through the lens of a software service provider based out of Bangalore and serving clients across the world. The focus is mostly on...

  • Keep the hype out and project a realistic picture
  • Uncover trends not very apparent
  • Draw conclusion from real life experience
  • Point out fallacy & discrepancy when I see them
  • Talk about trends which I find interesting
Google

@ThingsExpo Stories
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics gr...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things’). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing? IoT is not about the devices, it’s about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. In his session at Internet of Things at Cloud Expo | DXWor...
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader Sergey Grebnov provided an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone inn...